CV Equity Team » March 2023: Social Work Month!

March 2023: Social Work Month!

Why social work?
Growing up, I was exposed to a number of hardships, and I witnessed a lot of people in pain. Whether it was a family member, friend or a homeless person on the street, my heart went out to them. From a young age, I had a strong sense of empathy and a desire to help people in need. I would later (while at El Camino College) learn that there was a whole field called Social Work. It fit my personality (and passion) like a glove. 
What do I love most about being a social worker?
Seeing the light go on in a person's life. There's nothing more fulfilling than helping someone turn it around, stop a destructive pattern, or achieve new heights of development or awareness. The Social Work profession has allowed me to not just make a good living, but make a real difference. It is a true blessing to do what I do and work with the people I meet. 
How did you get into social work? 
Before going back to school for social work, I was working as an office assistant and did not know what I wanted to do with my life. However, I knew I wanted to feel like I was having a positive impact on people and the world. I also knew I wanted to do something that would provide job stability. Luckily for me, at the time, my older brother was switching his college major from divinity (the study of religion; theology) to social work. He told me that, with social work,  I would be able to have a positive impact on others and achieve professional stability. With his encouragement, I began looking into the profession and realized that social workers are the majority of mental health providers in the country. This really piqued my interest. I had had some wonderful experiences in therapy and thought I could be good at providing those kinds of experiences for others. After that, I began looking at programs and learning what I needed to apply. 

What do you love most about being a social worker? 
The relationships with students that I get to cultivate at the Wellness Center. It's an honor to serve our students who are so brave and wonderful. 
How did you get into social work? 
After working at the Los Angeles Times for 15 years, I wanted to pursue a career to which I could dedicate the rest of my vocational trajectory. I also wanted to obtain a career that felt less like work but more like a passion. I have always had a passion for helping people. I re-entered community college at LA Harbor College, where I obtained an Associate Degree and transferred to USC, where I obtained a Bachelor's in Sociology and a Master's of Social Work. 
What do you love most about being a social worker? 
I love being a School Social Worker because I have been furnished with the opportunity to be in the moment with adolescents, meet them where they are socio-emotionally, and carefully assist them in processing their experiences. I also enjoy providing them with coping techniques and resources that are powerful enough to positively change the outcome of their life path. I love assisting students and families eradicate the barriers that impede their progress academically and in life. I also love witnessing and being a part of the personal growth of students by using my skills to help fortify their support systems. 
Why social work?
I would say social work chose me. I had always been a resource for friends and my family for as far back as I can remember. But it wasn't until I was in high school that an adult mentioned my resourcefulness in helping others. At that point, I researched my various skill sets and discovered that they all aligned with being a social worker.
What do you enjoy most about this work?
What I enjoy most about being a social worker is that it doesn't feel like work. Everything about social work just flows very naturally for me. And being able to see someone or something changing for the good makes it worthwhile.
What made you choose social work? 
In my life, I've always been an empath, someone who finds it easy to connect with individuals and groups of people/communities on a deeper level. I chose social work because it allows me the opportunity to be myself freely while providing resources to others.
What do you enjoy most about being a social worker? I enjoy providing the support that I lacked as a teen in high school. I have an opportunity to work with families and students from similar backgrounds as myself and peers of mine growing up, which has always been a passion of mine.

Why did you get into social work?

I like to say I chose Social Work, but I really think Social Work chose me. I majored in Psychology at UCLA because I had been interested in aspects of the mind, behavior and emotions. However, throughout my life, I was also drawn to issues of social justice, community empowerment and social change. I also aimed to support young people who had similar struggles to my own.  Thankfully, I discovered that social work aligned with all of these interests and decided to pursue a Masters in Social Work at CSULB.  Presently, I am able to integrate many of my career interests and goals into my current role as a School Social Worker. 

What do you enjoy most about it?

I enjoy the daily opportunities I have to meet students where they spend a majority of their day – at school.  I feel very privileged to be able to hold space for and provide comfort to our students and their families during their most vulnerable moments.  My passion for social work drives all that I do and has always been more than just “a job” for me. Building relationships and connecting with others is what I appreciate most.  As such, I enjoy sharing my knowledge and passion with future social workers through mentorship and guidance in the field of Social Work. 

How did I get into social work?

I was born in Mexico City, and I migrated to the United States with my family as a teenager.  As a new immigrant, I experienced discrimination and bullying while my parents worked hard to provide my siblings and me with a better future.  As a college student with a major in Computer Science, I did not feel the fulfillment of embarking on a career that was strictly dedicated to programming.  It wasn’t until I took Sociology and Psychology classes in my second year in college as part of the general courses that I gravitated to the health and human services fields, discovering social work subsequently.


What do you love the most about being a social worker?

I always felt it was my mission in life to be an advocate and aim to make a difference in other people’s lives.  Social work provides me with a platform to be able to be of service to vulnerable, underrepresented and marginalized populations.  As a school social worker, I enjoy connecting with students to assist them with self-growth, discovery and exploration to improve their level of functioning while they face adversities and barriers in their lives.  
Finding resources and collaborating with the various teams within the school system is my main focus.  My passion lies in working in the various levels within social work--micro (one-on-one support), mezzo (group work) and macro (school-wide or community).  I am very passionate about a rewarding profession that allows me to be an agent of change in our society.

The entire district owes you a debt of thanks, CV Social Workers,
for the life-saving, barrier-breaking services you provide.
Happy Social Work Month, heroes!